YouTube, despite being the foremost video platform in the world, has lagged behind Twitch for video game streaming for years. Over the last decade, Twitch has been able to carve out a niche for itself in streaming that YouTube has struggled to keep up with.
Today, YouTube Gaming has announced a host of new features designed to take on Twitch. Two of the biggest announcements are the ability to gift streaming subscriptions on YouTube and “Live Redirect for Gaming” which is YouTube’s answer to the innovative Twitch Raid feature. For those who don’t know, Twitch Raids allow streamers to send their viewers over to another stream at the end of their own streaming session. It gives streamers the ability to push their audience to another channel all at once. This gives established streamers the ability to help out smaller channels that they like.
Features like Twitch Raids are something that has set the premiere game streaming service apart from YouTube Gaming for a few years now. With today’s announcement, YouTube will be hoping to draw more streamers and audiences to its platform when the features go live next year.
YouTube Gaming will also be improving discoverability and monetization for streamers. Discoverability has been a big advantage that Twitch has held over YouTube for budding streamers. Using Twitch’s directory, it is currently much easier to find new streamers than on YouTube. This is something that YouTube streamers have complained about for some time now. Although the announcement doesn’t detail how discoverability will be improved, the YouTube Gaming blog post says that those features are in the works. YouTube will also be introducing new moderation tools to help streamers police their channels and change how streamers can interact with their community.
Although there’s little information as to when all of this will be available, YouTube Gaming is taking the fight to Twitch for the video game streaming crown.